Day trip to the Vallée Blanche

The Vallée Blanche is one of the most beautiful and famous off-piste ski run in the world. It is located in the French Alps and is a fantastic 22-kilometer-long ski descent. In fact, it’s one of the longest in the world! Starting from the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m, we will put our skis on for an incredible itinerary on extraordinary glaciers at the feet of Mont Blanc, to Chamonix. Almost 3000m of descent, with beautiful powdery snow and a unique high mountain ambiance. We meet in Chamonix, at the bottom of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. We embark towards the High Mountain and start this morning by a presentation of the Mont Blanc massif from the panoramic terrasse, at 3842m high. After descending the Aiguille du Midi ridge, we put out skis on for a first descent of the Vallée, admiring the landscape and feeling relieved of any stress. We'll stop of lunch in the sunshine and finally join the mythical Mer de Glace and the famous Montenvers train which descends to Chamonix. 

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Discovery of the Vallée Blanche

    Discovery of the Vallée Blanche We meet early in the morning at the bottom of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. The guide will verify our personal equipment and give us a safety pack each before going to the top of the Aiguille du Midi, at 3842m high. Around 30 minutes later, we will discover one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Alps. From Mont Blanc to the Aiguille Verte, crossing the Grandes Jorasses and the Dent du Géant, the highest summits of the massif seem within easy reach.

    After taking time to contemplate them, we descend on the Aiguille du Midi ridge roped up before putting our skis on to start descending on the classic itinerary of the Vallée Blanche. The difficulty is intensive and the path passes right next to prestigious walls like the Gervasutti at the Mont Blanc du Tacul.
    During our descent, the guide will be in front of you and will indicate passages at a correct distance from crevices. The passageway the Géant's seracs requires to be focused and to follow the guide's instructions before reaching the "Salle à Manger" where we'll have a lunch break and drink a hot tea!

    The final descent will take place on the Mer de Glace. If snowing conditions don't allow us to take this route, we'll hop on the Montenvers train which will get us back to our starting point. Our fabulous day end in Chamonix, where we'll say goodbye.

    Denivelation+ : 100m | Denivelation- : 2800m | Altitude Max : 3842m | Accomodation : Hôtel ou guesthouse

Dates & prices

Departures for French-speaking groups:

No departure for now

International departures:

No departure for now

Trip code: SVBC

Included

  • The technical organization of the stay
  • Mountaineering with high-mountain guides
  • Collective equipment provided (ropes)
  • Safety equipment : avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel

Not included

  • Individual ski material : shoes, ski, poles
  • Picnics
  • Snacks: dried fruits, cereal bars, chocolate bars, etc .. 
  • All the drinks and personal expenses in refuges
  • Insurance and assistance
  • The Aiguille du Midi cable car and the descent on the Montenvers train ( if there isn't enough snow to descend on skis from the Mer de Glace to Chamonix)
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the "price includes"

International flights

If you wish, we can take care of booking your international flights to the closest airport of your destination. 

Terms and conditions

Inscription

By booking one of our travels, the customer bindingly accepts the general terms and conditions of sale. Each customer must fill a registration form. The booking is definitively registered when the customer has settled the payment of a deposit of 30 % of the total trip's price (subject to availability at the time of registration). In case of short term booking – within 30 days before the travel departure, the full trip's price is due immediately. Payments can be settled via bank transfer (SWIFT code/IBAN number) or online, directly from our website (available soon). You will receive an email with a booking confirmation as quickly as possible.

Facturation

Once your booking registered, we send you an email with the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel's price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes gets the right to cancel the booking without additional charges.

Annulation

For any reason, if you decide to withdraw from a trip, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:       
  • Cancellation up to 45 days before the agreed beginning of the trip: You will be charged 20 % of the travel's price, in addition with every non-refundable expenses for additional services booked on request (internal flights, site entrance tickets, activities…)   
  • Cancellation between 44 and 15 days before the agreed beginning of the trip: You will be charged 50 % of the travel's price, in addition with every non-refundable expenses for additional services booked on request (internal flights, site entrance tickets, activities…)
  • Cancellation less than 14 days before the agreed beginning of the journey: You will be charged 100 % of the travel's price, in addition with every non-refundable expenses for additional services booked on request (internal flights, site entrance tickets, activities…)

Any cancellation shall be notified in writing (email, letter or fax). The cancellation will be effective as soon as we receive your written statement. If we notice early that the minimum number of participants for a trip cannot be reached, Altaï Alpes will exercise its right of withdrawal immediately. In that situation, you will be informed of the cancellation of your travel no later than 21 days before the agreed beginning of the journey. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a travel in case of major circumstances such as volcanic eruption, civil disturbances, strikes, weather and climate conditions, in order to ensure traveler's security… In such cases, you will immediately be refunded of any payments. However, you will not be entitled to any compensation.

Modification du contrat

If any change is made in the travel's contract at the customer’s request, any fee that might arise from this change shall be paid by the customer. In any cases, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will endeavour to inform you of any change as quickly as possible.

Prix et révision des prix

All travel prices for groups on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change, of the currency exchange rates or on the price of travel's services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Cession du contrat

In case of transfer of the contract by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions will be applied.

Insurance

We recommend you to get your own insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Altaï Alpes. Please email us your insurance contract information (insurance company's name, contract number, phone number) and bring this information with you during your trip. 

Practical info

Staff

Your trip will be supervised by a high-mountain guide who will teach you technical elements needed for the good progress of your stay. He may need to modify the program in order to ensure safety regarding weather conditions and participants physical conditions.

Food

Meals 
  • Plan to bring a picnic as well as some snacks according to your tastes (cereal bars, dried fruits, etc...).

Drinks
  • Bring a 1L water bootle
  • A tea thermos slightly sugared is always much appreciated (ideal capacity : 0,75L)

Transportation

Access : 
  • By train : SNCF Saint Gervais les Bains le Fayet train station then the touristic Mont Blanc Express TER to Chamonix. Timetable and prices on : www.voyages-sncf.com
  • By road : A40 "Autoroute Blanche" to Chamonix 

Dispersion :
  • In the end of the afternoon in Chamonix (74)

Lodge before or after the trip :

Budget & exchange

France is in the Eurozone. Therefore, the unit of the currency is the Euro.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances (but don’t forget to bring your PIN number!). 
Refuges often don’t have EPT (Electronic Payment Terminal): it is best to bring cash.
Be aware of the fees usually applied when purchasing products or services on a credit card. 

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spend your trip constantly feeling short on funds. 

As currency exchange rates can often fluctuate, we recommend to check the following website for daily exchange rates: https://www.xe.com/

Tips

Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

  • An avalanche transceiver
  • A harness and a carabiner

Vital equipment

You can rent your equipment in Chamonix : 
  • Mountain shoes
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Harness
  • Helmet

Material

  • Alpine skis + poles
  • Ski shoes
  • Helmet

Luggage

You will carry all of your belongings and your technical equipment in a 30L alpinism backpack. 

Medicine

Your guide will be equipped with a first aid emergency kit. 

Passport

Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid.

Visa

  • Up to 90 days visit in France : citizens from most countries do not need a visa to visit France.
  • Over 90 days visit in France : non-EU or non-EFTA citizens must have a visa to visit France over 90 days.

For further information, please check the following website : https://france-visas.gouv.fr/

Identity card

For EU citizens, you can use your identity card to travel to France. 

Mandatory vaccines

There are no mandatory vaccines needed to travel to France. 

If your have any questions concerning a trip to France or if you’re wandering what vaccines you might need for your trip, take an appointment with your local clinic and travel doctor. You can call Passport Health at 1-888-499-7277.

Health information & recommendations

For this trip, you must be fit : you can train with other sports such as running, cycling, swimming or sportive walk. To have a reasonable chance of success, a high degree of fitness and stamina, some previous experience of altitude is highly recommended. 

Training advices to check with your general practionner : six months before departure, try to do at least 1 to 2 endurance sport sessions a week (each one must last at least one hour) and do a 6 hours trekking during the week-end with an elevation of 400m/hour during three hours. Three months before departure, try 2 to 3 endurance sport sessions a week and increase your trekking time during the week end from 7 to 8 hours.

Please inform us of any health issues : allergy, diabetes, asthma, or old strokes...

Weather

The weather in the French Alps varies up and down the mountain chain. It is a mountainous region between 800 and 4000 meters, so altitude plays a big part in the local weather. 
As you climb higher into the mountains it gets 1 degree cooler every 100 meters. It is the case all year around but other factors such as temperature inversions and winds influence the climate.  The sun plays a very important role too. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, some lower or north facing valleys are blocked from the sun by mountains for a large part of the day and are colder.  

Keep in mind that weather conditions are unpredictable. Therefore, the trip organization can me modified for your safety. 

Electricity

There will be electricity in Chamonix, if you decide to stay a night before or after your trip. If you are scared to run low on battery, we advise to bring an external battery charger.  

Power plugs in France have the particularity of being male and female at the same time : they have 2 prongs and a receptacle. If you need an adapter, please purchase if before departure.

In France the power plugs and sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Local time

France is in the Central European Time Zone. Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

Like most states in Europe, Summer Time (Daylight-Saving) is observed in France, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).
After the summer months, the time in France is shifted back by 1 hour to Central European Time (CET or GMT+1).

Sustainable tourism

We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of France by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.

  • Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
  • France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
  • Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
  • Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
  • Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.  
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Nicolas

My local agent
Nicolas

  • Mountain leader
  • Ski patroller
  • Specialist of expeditions and passionate of travel
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Region
France
Activity
Winter
Duration
1 days
Group
4 to 6 people
Code
SVBC
Price
From €145
Level
3/5
Language(s)
French / English

Strengths

  • A mythical itinerary in an astonishing glacial universe
  • Safety equipment included

Guide's advice

« The Vallée Blanche offers the unique opportunity of a great ski run in altitude. But be careful, we aren't on a slope, we have to be aware of the dangers of the mountain. Our job is to open up the way for you as well as making sure you are safe ! »

Required level

  • You need a good skiing level, a great control of skiing (red/black slopes). 
  • The different itineraries of the Vallée Blanche are very steep. However, it is important to know your skis trajectory and to be capable to pass precisely at the location the guide indicated. 
  • A first off-piste skiing experience in necessary : you have to know how to ski on all type of snow and on all terrains. 
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